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The MSC Musica is being replaced by the MSC Orchestra and MSC Sinfonia in South Africa, in 2022/2023; having been here for the first time in the 2018/2019 season. The Musica is a larger ship than the MSC Sinfonia, with which some South Africans will be more familiar. To book international cruises on the MSC Musica email firstname.lastname@example.org.
The Melody has previously been cruising in South America during the southern hemisphere's summer, and will be replaced there by the larger MSC Fantasia.
The ship has more pools, a wider menu (including a sushi bar) and a larger theatre (3 deck high) than the Sinfonia - takes 1240 people, compared to the Sinfonia's 700 people. The theatre's name is the "Teatro La Scala", seating over a 1000 people, it is larger than any theatre in South Africa, and is truly a sight to behold.
The MSC Musica came into service in 2006 and was the first ship in the "Musica class" (the others are the MSC Orchestra, MSC Poesia and MSC Magnifica). The ship boasts spacious staterooms as well as balcony suites, being the majority. The most spectacular sight to be seen on the ship is the lit up three-tier waterfall and piano. The piano has been suspended over a crystal floor above a pool of luminous water, located in the central foyer. The MSC Musica is a reflection of elegance and sophistication and you can be sure to enjoy the cosmopolitan atmosphere whilst cruising to your ideal location.
Outside of South Africa, the MSC Musica offers regular cruises at times in the Mediterranean. Before visiting South Africa, she spent her southern hemisphere summer offering 8 night cruises from Rio de Janeiro to Buenos Aires, Punta del Este (Uruguay), Ilhabela (Brazil) and back to Rio de Janeiro.
25 May 2019 to 18 Oct 2020
Venice - Brindisi (Italy)
14 Oct 2018 to 26 Apr 2019
Photo credit: Marinko Radulic
November 2020. The MSC Musica returns to South African waters, together with the MSC Opera; the first time since April 2013 that MSC have had 2 cruise ships in SA.
2019. The Musica is visiting the Marseille drydocks to have scrubbers fitted (aka "exhaust gas cleaning systems"). The scrubbers are being built by LAB, a subsidiary of CNIM. The Musica follows the MSC Orchestra and MSC Poesia who had their scrubbers fitted in 2017 & 2018 respectively.
Nov 2018 to Apr 2019. The Musica is based in South Africa; doing cruises from Durban and Cape Town.
Mar to Oct 2018. The Musica is based in Venice; doing cruises to Brindisi, Katakolon, Santorini, Piraeus (Athenes), Corfu and Kotor (Montenegro).
Nov 2017 to Mar 2018. The Musica is based in Rio; doing cruises to Buenos Aires, Punta del Este and Ilhabela.
26 Aug 2017. High quality video tour of the inside and outside of the MSC Musica.
22 Apr 2013. The MSC Musica visits Le Havre in France for the first time. The deputy Mayor of Le Havre, Gérard Vastra, gave Captain Raffaelo Musso (appropriate surname for a captain of the Musica) a medal and plaque.
19 Apr 2013. The Musica calls on Lisbon for the first time.
31 Jan 2013. Interview with the hotel director on the MSC Musica
Dec 2011. MSC introduce a new program, 'Approach to Wine'. The course comprises of 5 lessons with both theoretical and practical wine sessions.
29 Jun 2006. MSC celebrated the inauguration of MSC Musica in Venice with a display of lights and colors.
26 Oct 2013 : Crew party on the MSC Musica - so apparently it's not just the passengers who are having fun.
2013-06-03. The MSC Musica making its way through the Norwegian fjords from Flåm to Bergen.
Rio de Janeiro
Here's the Musica approaching Rio de Janeiro.
MSC Musica has a rating of 5.0/5 from 2 reviews
5/5 : "Hi I have just returned from a trip to nowhere on the
MSC Musica...It was a fantastic weekend to remember...I give you a 5 star rating...."Janice Bell
5/5 : "Let me tell you the story behind our first family cruise....
In 2013 my husband secretly booked a "belated honeymoon" cruise for him and I, & unfortunately the kids had to stay with grandma.... (much to their and my disgust as I am a mom who takes her children everywhere).
We did however promise them that the next cruise we went on, would be a family cruise....
in 2018, I decided to start making enquiries as to what cruises would be available and through an awesome agent at Southafrica.to, Alison, i found the perfect cruise for us on the
(And let me add here.... "mom, remember you promised we could go with")
Alison helped me make a booking for the 6 of us in no time.
And now we were super excited. . .
To cut to the best part....
The morning of the cruise departure arrived and even I felt like a child on Christmas morning....
We were all dressed in our "Smitty Smurfs Family Sokkie Cruise" shirts and joined the looooooong line at N-Shed.
To all future cruise passengers, I recommended Easy On Board, it makes boarding a lot faster and there are less hassles!!!
And if you are traveling with minors, make sure you have not only their passport but unabridged birth certificate ready for border crossing.
From the moment your passport is stamped and you exit N-Shed, you feel already rejuvenated!!!
Then the excitement begins....
Photos are snapped left and right and you haven't even climbed aboard the ship yet....
Once aboard, you will be mezmerized by the architecture And design of this floating hotel....
Lounges, bars, restaurants, and so much more!!!
There is ALWAYS something, somewhere happening to keep old and young entertained!
3 of my children joined the kids clubs on board and had an amazing time (they even made pasta with Dorebro and a chef from Madagascar)
When it comes to food....
There is definitely something for everyone
From Italian to Oriental seafood to good old fashioned "junk food" (hot dogs, fries, pizza, etc) there will be something for everyone!!
You can eat to your heart's content and not worry about cleaning up or even making the meal!
The formal restaurants are beautiful and the waiters are professional but extremely friendly and efficient.
Eventually we could go to our cabins and WOW!! It was beautiful...
The view from a balcony suite is breathtaking!
We collected our cabin cards and life jackets (for the mandatory drill) and headed off to our muster point.
(Thank you MSC for ensuring that my 3 younger children had an age appropriate life jacket waiting in our cabin)
From here the fun really started...
We dropped off our life jackets in our rooms and dashed up to deck 14 to bid Durban a fond adieu, as we were heading for The Portuguese Islands...
On the Friday night we dressed up a bit for the formal restaurant, & we were welcomed by friendly staff and swept off to our allocated table...
Our Indonesian waiter made sure that everyone was kept happy, even my youngest of 13 months.
(Let me add here that every night there is a different 3 course menu to choose from, even the children have special menus to look through).
Photos were taken of all of us....
Big smiles and excited chatter from my children filled our corner of the restaurant
Finally we were done...
Now we were off to explore some more....
The theatre productions were awe inspiring and took even my breath away... (they really know how to get the audience involved)
The next day we stopped at Portuguese Islands....
The water was calm enough for us to go to the island.....
Here is where I would like to offer advice.....
The moment you hear that you need to collect disembarkation tickets for the island.... Get to that specific lounge ASAP!!!
(We left it a little long and ended up with tickets for boat 17, & by the time we arrived on shore all the best spots were taken)
When going ashore, make sure you have your cruise card with you, even minors as you are checked out and in again
The boat trip to shore was uneventful but amazing even for me who suffers from motion sickness and having an infant in my arms
On shore.... more photos.... local merchants trying to make money....
The water is super warm... like bath water and is so shallow even our youngest was able to enjoy the water....
Food is provided free of charge and at various spots there are bars to buy your refreshments...
When we went back to the ship, we were given refreshing face clothes to wipe our hot grimey faces and hands and again our cruise cards were scanned....
Now for something cold to drink and relax at the pool....
I don't want to spoil all the fun, so...
All in all....
An experience I believe everyone should live through at least once!!
Final tips & advice:
Don't pack towels (bath & swimming towels are provided)
Showergel & shampoo were provided in dispensers in shower (and smelled divine )
Try to do as much as possible as time really does fly!!!
Buy a photo package in advance!!! (Photos are expensive on board but are beautiful )
And lastly, as I told my children. ...
Try something new everyday
Hope to see you all on a cruise someday, (I'm already planning our next cruise....).
Bon voyage..." Antoinette Smith
17 Mar 2017 Video of MSC Musica cruise from Santos to Punta Del Este, Buenos Aires and Montevideo: deck games, lounging in the sun, dancing, swimming, cocktails, beers, pool games, sunset, excursion, casino, arcade games, partying and horseing around.
20 Oct 2013 Video of the MSC Musica cruise ship
27 April 2013. Walk through the MSC Musica plus cruise footage
Carnaval 2013 time! Warning - this video is 1 hour long and once you start watching it is difficult to stop! Video of a holiday on the MSC Musica with 4 lovely ladies, and great backing vocals. Basking at the pool, good food, plenty of line dancing, getting serenaded on stage, ocean views, evenings at the disco, suntanning, theatre, island time, swimming in the sea, night party on deck and RIO Babe!
Davinder Kaur enjoyed a cruise on the MSC Musica, especially an Indian function on board: "we were part of a big Indian group on the cruise – we enjoyed Bollywood, Bhangra and more – danced to it, and ate Indian food."
Davinder, along with friends and family, had a wonderful time on the MSC Musica and thinks that "this cruise line is definitely worth your consideration." She especially "enjoyed the Bollywood, Bhangra and more – danced to it, and ate Indian food."
A couple sailed on the Musica in November 2011 and they "found the food on MSC Musica to be most acceptable with the dining room to be pleasant if a little on the warm side. The service was always superb. The theatre is comfortable and impressive, the shows were all different, "special mention must be made of the Riverdance / Lord of the Dance sequence in the show Excalibur which had me on my feet at the end".
In August 2010, Susana set sail for the Greek Islands on the MSC Musica and thought "it was the perfect cruise, the entertainment was like been in a Cirq of Solei performance, the food was excellent". She cruised with a group of friends and brought her daughter, aged 15 along. Her daughter "found the activities for teens fun and exciting".
A cautionary note when reading ship reviews on the likes of Cruise Critic, Fodor's Cruises, Avid Cruiser, Cruise.co.uk, Cruise Line or Tripadvisor Cruises: it is only a small percentage of passengers who write reviews, and those who do bother may be atypical - e.g. those who have been on a lot of cruises or those who had a particularly bad experience - there would be many who had great experiences who did not bother to write. On these international sites, naturally, there are few South Africans participating, so you wont hear reviews on what it was like with SA entertainers on board and for South Africa's destinations. Also, the cruise crew, entertainers and even captains regularly change; so those with whom a bad experience was had may have changed. Naturally, it's the luck of the draw as far as fellow passengers go. Our best advice is to make the most of the cruise, irrespective of whether everything isn't perfect. And after the cruise, please send your reviews to us via email to email@example.com; or at the bottom of any of our webpages in the comments section.
Keep an eye out for the daily newsletter in your cabin, which sets out the day's entertainment and the time the ship arrives at the port/destination (if applicable) - if you miss it in your cabin there are spare copies at reception. Entertainment on board the MSC Musica varies from singers to dancers, magicians, stand up comedians, musicals, acrobats and deck games. The entertainment has been compared to that of the Cirque du Soleil show (and if you want some of that, be sure to book an MSC Meraviglia cruise).
For those who like to be pampered, the MSC Aurea Spa & Solarium have their own sauna,
steam room, offer
Thalasso therapy, yoga & aerobics. The gym and beauty salon are also part of the Spa.
Recreation facilities include the cinema, games rooms, tennis, volleyball, basketball, running track, shuffleboard, miniature golf and a golf simulator.
There are 10 inside lounges & bars and 2 outside lounges & pool bars. The Blue Velvet bar seats 220 people. Diamond Cocktail bar seats 45 people. The smoking bar seats 32 people. The ship has a well stocked library. You can play chess or cards in the card room. This includes a bar solely for coffee and one for wine. There are 2 swimming pools and 7 whirlpools (including the kiddies splash pool).
If you are stopping at a port/destination be sure to check the list of excursions available - it's usually best to go on the formal excursions, as they're likely to be of a higher quality, and you're less likely to miss the boat when it moves; but if cheap is important then you may be able to get a better deal on your own.
If you're a nightowl and enjoy dancing, then hit the Q32 disco - you may just bump into some of the crew. The disco has its own bar, a live DJ, and is typically open from 23h00 until an undisclosed hour in the wee hours of the morning. It is situated on the 14th deck at the aft side of the ship, just behind the Teens Club and the Virtual Games area. Tip: visit the disclo on the last night of the cruise - there are often passengers trying to "get rid of" the last vouchers they have (they're of no value once on land and the cruise is over).
20 Apr 2013
Footage from the disco on the MSC Musica - dancing, drinking..."Time of my Life" (remix).
9 Apr 2013
Dancing fun on the MSC Musica.
10 Mar 2013
The audience get involved in some clowning around on the MSC Musica
19 Jul 2011
If you think your teenagers are going to get bored, tthen you're in for a pleasant surprise. Your teens will love the teen disco and its various themes, and socialising with other teens from different places and cultures.
The emergency drill is a serious exercise, but can also be viewed as fun with a smidgeon of excitement for the tiny possibility of things going wrong. It's also a great photo opportunity of the family doing something different (I didn't spot any of the crew photographers at the drill, so you'll have to do the photography work yourself. The below photo is for those whose assembley point was the Chrystal lounge (the assembly point/muster station depends on your cabin number, and we were 9212, and had a different assembly point to our family in cabin 8001, which was on the opposite end of the ship).
Food & drinks
The Musica has 5 restaurants:
Kaito sushi bar (pay extra).
Il Giardino a la carte (pay extra).
Gu Archi Cafeteria (free)
Le Maxim's (free)
The MSC Musica has an emphasis on Italian cuisine, and has recently introduced tasty Indian food into its menu. There are vegetarian options, Halaal food on request, but Kosher food must be pre-ordered more than 90 days before the cruise, at an additional cost (this will change over time, but at the time of writing, 5 Dec 2017, was R225 per person per day). Although you should not expect lobsters and caviar, the food is up to the standard of some classy restaurants.
There are 2 sittings, and be sure to book the sitting you want with your travel agent as early as possible, otherwise you may have no choice - the early sitting usually books up first. Note that there is no "anytime dining" option during the 2018/2019 season.
Here's a lovely prawn salad:
The service in the restaurant is brilliant, and we suggest that you give the buffet a miss, as it's much nicer being served. If seated with a different group of passengers, it's a great time to make some new friends.
There are a lot of courses, and we suggest ordering more than one would usually, as the portions are smaller than one typically gets in restaurants in South Africa.
If you can afford to pay a bit extra, then try the in-cabin breakfast for lie-in-luxury.
The only free drinks are the iced water which is available at all times at the buffet, and the water from the taps in your room. Apparently the water from the taps in your cabin is drinkable, but we don't take the chance (there are no facilities to make hot drinks in your cabin). You have to pay for water ordered at dinner.
If you are going to drink a lot then we suggest taking a drinks package, which is cheaper than buying on board. Be careful not to overestimate your ability to booze - many people are left with unused drinks coupons at the end of the cruise (tip: hang around the bar on the last night, as there's often passengers trying to get rid of surplus drinks coupons).
Do order the fresh orange from your waiter at breakfast time - it's refreshing and delicious.
If you're a lover of vino, then try the L'enoteca Wine Bar on deck number 7, where you can often also enjoy live music.
Cabins & Suites
The cabins on the ship are in great condition. The MSC Musica is the first of the "Musica class" fleet, and can accommodate 2,550 guests with double occupancy. The Musica offers 275 inside cabins, 173 outside cabins, 377 standard balcony cabins, 432 superior balcony cabins and 18 balcony suites (ie 80% of the cabins have sea views). There are 17 cabins which are appropriate for the disabled, 2 of which are balcony cabins. There are quite a number of 2-berth cabins, so ask your agent about tandem specials.
Clients typically find the cabin sizes are fine and in line with that offered by other cruise lines - there's enough storage space, although inside 4-sleeper cabins can start feeling a bit cramped after a while on a long cruise, and we'd recommend upgrading to a suite if the budget allows. The shower/toilet area is large enough, and has a clothes line. All cabins have a minibar refrigerator, with a bit of space to place one's own things in - if you need more space, then let your cabin attendant know that you are emptying the mini-bar to place them elsewhere, and will replace them before the end of the cruise. There are no facilities to make tea or coffee. The heating, ventilation an air conditioning systems are excellent.
On the topic of cabin attendants, the ones on MSC Cruises are truly superb, and don't be shy to engage with them - they are super keen to do whatever it takes to make your cruise a good one; and they will of course keep the cabins looking new, shiny and clean. They typically clean the rooms twice a day.
Inside cabins consist of single beds that can be converted into a double bed (on request), spacious wardrobe, bathroom with shower. There is an interactive TV, telephone, mini-bar and safe and hair dryer. There is availability of internet connection using your own laptop (on payment). Size is some 14 square metres. The ship has 275 inside cabins. Inside cabins are coded I1 for cabins which sleep a maximum of 2 passengers (found on decks 5, 8, 9, 10 and 11); and I2 for cabins sleeping up to 4 passengers (situated on decks 11, 12, 14 and 15).
Ocean view cabins are the same as inside cabins, with the crucial difference being that they have a view of the sea and are larger in size. Size is some 17 square metres. There are 92 cabins with partial views, and 81 cabins with full views - be sure to check with your cruise consultant whether your cabin will have an obscured view or a full view. Ocean view cabins which sleep a maximum of 2 passengers are coded "O1", an are situated on deck 8. Ocean view cabins which sleep up to 4 passengers are coded "O2", an situated on decks 5 and 8.
Balcony cabins are the same as inside cabins, but (crucially!) have a balcony and are larger. The standard balcony cabins are some 18.5 square metres and the superior balcony cabins are some 22 metres square. The ship has some 809 balcony cabins. Balcony cabins which sleep a maximum of 2 are situated on decks 8, 9 and 10 (code B1); balcony cabins sleeping a maximum of 4 are situated on decks 8, 9, 10, 11 and 12 (coded B2). They have lovely views and are well worth paying a bit extra for.
Balcony suites have a double bed (can be converted into two single beds on request), spacious wardrobe, bathroom with tub, TV, telephone, mini-bar and safe and hair dryer. There is availability of internet connection using your own laptop (on payment). It is some 31 square metres in size. The ship has some 18 balcony suites - be sure to snap one up as soon as they become available - they have lovely views. All the balcony suites are situated on deck 15.
Cabins for people with disabilities have two fixed single beds, a bathroom with a shower, a wardrobe, a mini bar & safe & a TV. It is some 21 square metres in size. There are 12 inside, 2 outside and 3 balcony wheelchair friendly cabins.
4 People in a cabin
In the case of a balcony suite you may only have 4 people in it if 2 of them are children under the age of 5. In cabins I2, O2 and B2 there may be 4 passengers of any age.
The massages are luxurious and outstanding. They're so good that you may find yourself paying for a second.
Satellite Phone Number
The MSC Musica has a satellite phone, which should be called only in the case of emergencies (it is very expensive). The phone number is + 870 764 614 354.
Note that you may not wear shorts to restaurants for dinner. For the buffet and restaurants you must wear shoes; and no bikinis, bathrobes or tank-tops. Be sure to take at least one set of smart clothing for a short cruise.
There is no self-help laundry service, you have to pay in order to get laundry done.
Before signing off a little reminder to take loads of photos and videos, and do share them - we love to see photos of our clients' trips on the MSC Musica - email to firstname.lastname@example.org - have a lovely musical cruise :-)
MSC Musica's Current Position
Here's where the MSC Musica currently is, on this live map below